17/10/2006 - 22:00

What’s behind the Gorgon gripes?

17/10/2006 - 22:00


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There’s an air of mystery around the giant Gorgon project at moment.

What’s behind the Gorgon gripes?

There’s an air of mystery around the giant Gorgon project at moment.

Whispers of ‘will it or won’t it actually get up and running’ abound. If it’s not the rising costs or falling revenues, then it’s the state government’s reservation policy that’s to blame.

Everyone involved reckons its business as usual, which makes you wonder how these rumours start.

If it’s normal for project teams to leave suddenly, quitting their tenancies in the rich vein of western suburbs investment property rentals, then why is it now a talking point?

There are many obstacles to cause this project to stumble – if either side wants it to. The backers of Gorgon can easily blame costs or more viable alternatives if they wanted an excuse.

The government has many levers it can introduce if it finds the politics of developing an island reserve too hard.

On the other side, there’s no way this project can fail if both sides want it to go ahead.

Another viewpoint is that the rumour is being fuelled by those who want to punish the government for its reservation policy. The threat of the biggest project in Western Australia falling over and everything that entails would certainly give any government the jitters.

Such an event would appear to be a vote of no confidence in the state’s oil and gas future and would no doubt have flow on-effects.

No state leader would want to be remembered as the one who stopped the boom dead in its tracks.

Or maybe it’s more innocent than that? Just a few engineers leaving town and few newly created landlords being surprised at that. What do you reckon?


Brewers’ moves well worth watching

I love observing trends in the market, and what is happening in Fremantle with regard to brewing is fascinating.

Firstly, the leadership of Matilda Bay Brewing in the 1980s to make a micro-brewery at the Sail & Anchor and the America’s Cup restoration of the port’s pubs has finally created a commercially attractive zone for a new wave of brewers to enter.

But they are not, ironically, taking space in those old pubs. While the University of Notre Dame is controversially buying those old hotels and using them for educational purposes, the latest brewers, led by Little Creatures, are more interested in the newer hospitality zones such as Fishermen’s Harbour, Victoria Quay or Port Beach, looking at former industrial, retail or even restaurant space.

It’s an intriguing development, which I am sure will benefit Fremantle.


Turning a duckling into a swan

Here’s an interesting idea.

With the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre ailing at the moment due to a lack of patronage, an anonymous, and slightly appealing, suggestion arrived in my inbox.

The author of the note asks how an ugly duckling could be turned into a swan?

The answer, they suggest, is to house the now homeless WA Museum inside the convention centre. Allowing the centre to still function as a convention location but giving it an asset for the tourists and a drawcard for the locals without having the cost of a new building.

A striking thought, I reckon.


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